The best way to spend the 'last days of your holidays"
Alexander Storch
Wales
Llanelli
Sir Gaerfyrddin, Cymru
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I posted this item as a regular post on the main gaming forum and was delighted to see that it was very well received. Clearly there are many of you out there who appreciate these very special moments too.
Some suggested it should be made into a 'Geeklist', so here goes.


A couple of days before my 12 year old daughter Elisa was due to return to school I had a weather enforced extra day off work. I suggested to Elisa that we should make the most of the bonus time together and we could get some gaming action in. Elisa has never said no to some board/card games and this day was no exception. We agreed we'd play for the rest of the day and get as many of our favourite games in as possible,
They would all have to all only two players as my wife was in work, my middle son killing dragons or some such thing (in World of Warcraft) and my other son away with friends. A further agreement was made that the winner of each game would get to pick the next game.
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1. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.67 Overall Rank:72] [Average Rating:7.67 Unranked]
Alexander Storch
Wales
Llanelli
Sir Gaerfyrddin, Cymru
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So, with high spirits we kicked things off with our current number one and recent Christmas present; Dominion. We selected a deck completely randomly and away we went.

Elisa won this one
Elisa 1 Alex 0

This is our firm number one game at the moment and we must have had at least half a dozen sessions already. It's just so accessible, after a few rounds with the first suggested deck we play lots of variations; completely random, pick one each and the rest random or three each and 1 random etc. We love it.
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2. Board Game: Alhambra [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:393]
Alexander Storch
Wales
Llanelli
Sir Gaerfyrddin, Cymru
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Next up was Alhambra, always popular and a really social game.
I had some early sequences of 'exact payments' which give me a surprise lead. Elisa (and others) tend to get put off buy paying 'over' which I believe cost her dearly. Exact payments are nice of course but when I want a tile I'll pay whatever it takes. From round one I had some great walls too and come the end of the game there was I believe only one wasted wall tile.

Elisa 1 Alex 1
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3. Board Game: Jamaica [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:400]
Alexander Storch
Wales
Llanelli
Sir Gaerfyrddin, Cymru
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Shiver me timbers! It's Jamaica. We bought this last summer and it never fails to bring a smile to my face. The components are a delight, the mechanics of the game a pleasant change and even the theme works for me.

With only two of us playing we had the Black ship to contend with but, frankly it was rubbish. Always a threat but it didn't win a single attack and ended the game with all our - tresure cards. Having Morgans Map quite early gave me some more options and throwing the 'star' in combats with Elisa at two crucial moments helped a great deal. A comfortable win for me.

Elisa 1 Alex 2
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4. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.03 Overall Rank:16]
Alexander Storch
Wales
Llanelli
Sir Gaerfyrddin, Cymru
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Getting serious now with Agricola. Yet another regular. We've had the game for a few months now and we're still happy playing the family version. I can't wait 'till we crack open the rest of the cards.
As was pointed out in my original forum post Elisa set the game up incorrectly for two players but of course it mattered not as we were equally affected. I think an early mistake was not grabbing the 'go first' token from Elisa; she had it for the entire game. Consequently I just couldn't get up a head of steam. Although I wasn't far behind her come the end of the game I felt I was playing catch up. I did feel my funky three stone huts and Joiner card would swing itmight swing it but I lost by three points in the end.


Elisa 2 Alex 2

Note also, that I appreciate the table cloth is probably the worst it in the world for playing board on
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5. Board Game: RoboRally [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:336]
Alexander Storch
Wales
Llanelli
Sir Gaerfyrddin, Cymru
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Mayhem arrived in the shape of Roborally. A fair point was raised that we could have controlled to Robots each, we've done this before as it happens, perhaps we had one eye on the clock.

An almost perfect start for me with Twonky landing on the first checkpoint at the start of turn two. Elisa made the classic left/right mistake early on which had her 'conveyor bound' and well out of place.

The second checkpoint came up pretty quickly for me too while poor Elisa way off tack. Not helped by me ruining things with the timer devil

A serious firefight in the main corridor nearly cost me a life but in the end I managed (after a good few turns) to get Twonky home safe with Elisa floundering.


Elisa 2 Papa 3

Twonky rules!
Surprisingly (or not) my family are usually very happy with my choice of new games and are eager players. Roborally is the only one ( I recall) having a resounding thumbs down from my two sisters.
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6. Board Game: Thurn and Taxis [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:348]
Alexander Storch
Wales
Llanelli
Sir Gaerfyrddin, Cymru
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Order is returned with Thurn and Taxis. Elisa consistently goes for all the Bayern cities and this game was no exception. She has a pretty good win ratio perhaps I should try it!

Nevertheless although Elisa was getting her Post Offices down at a fair pace i was plodding along nicely with regular bonus tiles. Elisa, crucially was scoring little and often and was lagging behind on the Carriage cards. I went for glory, planning to use the Cartwright to grab my '7' early while Elisa was still on '4' (or 5?) came to grief when I was unable to place a card blush and although I did grab the '7' later it was too late.
.

Elisa 3 Papa 3
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7. Board Game: Maharaja: The Game of Palace Building in India [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:506]
Alexander Storch
Wales
Llanelli
Sir Gaerfyrddin, Cymru
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A rare appearance for Maharaja a board game which certainly hasn't been given enough 'table time'. An pleasant theme and unusual game mechanics really appeals to me and there is more than enough depth to this to make it a stayer. I certainly haven't played it enough to appreciate it fully and it's a rare game in that Elisa really hasn't got entirely to grips with it yet. Understanding how to play it and playing it remotely well being two very different things indeed. Undaunted we pressed on and soon after I promised I'd do more to get it played which will be very tough now Dominion is king.

Elisa and I traded maximum points until a sneaky house move made foiled Elisa's plan and cost her dearly. From then one I gained an unassailable lead.

Elisa 3 Papa 4
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8. Board Game: Ra [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:133]
Alexander Storch
Wales
Llanelli
Sir Gaerfyrddin, Cymru
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A break from the pattern in that my wife Sue joined in for this one (just back from work) which was fortunate as you need at least 3 for RA, although I have since learned that it is playable with 2.
I lagged behind badly in this one and even an impressive array of multiple monuments wasn't enough to stop me losing. Sue was only a point or two off Elisa's winning score though.


Final score 4-4

The three of us went on to play two more games of Dominion of which Sue and Elisa won one each.
So there you have it, 5 or 6 hours of gaming and I'm wondering already if tomorrow's predicted heavy frost will stop be getting up on someone's roof or will we ba able to add to this stack of goodness. As an added incentive Red November and Bohnanza are due to arrive tomorrow!



Red November and Bohnanza turned up today (Wednesday) and missed out on being added to this gaming session, although I suppose I could add it to this one at a later date. A practice session on Red November with Elisa this afternoon was very encouraging although we manage to crush the sub twice in short order soblue
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